**** NBC NEWS CALLS WISCONSIN FOR SCOTT WALKER ****
WASHINGTON – If Tom Barrett doesn’t pull off an upset in today’s recall battle with Scott Walker, it’s fitting to wonder what might have been if Pres. Obama had opened the DNC war chest to help. Oh, but he tweeted for Barrett on Monday! That won’t make up the almost 8 to 1 money advantage that Scott Walker has over Barrett. The AP has put together an all you need to know article on the recall. Here’s a snippet:
Turnout is key for both Walker and Barrett in a race that polls show has few undecided voters. Walker must pull strongly from Republican parts of the state, primarily in the conservative Milwaukee suburbs. Barrett needs to do well with his base in Madison and Milwaukee and keep Walker’s margin of victory low in the Republican-leaning Fox Valley area around Green Bay. The election, if it’s close, could be won or lost based on how well the candidates do in western Wisconsin in swing counties along the Mississippi border, as well as other swing parts of the state like in Racine County south of Milwaukee.
It all gets down to turnout.
When Tim Kaine was titular head of the DNC, he offered no economic message for the 2010 midterms, because Pres. Obama hasn’t had an economic message his entire first term.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz went to Wisconsin, but who cares, really? She’s now the functionary at the top of the DNC, but Barrett didn’t need her, he needed Pres. Obama to show up with cash through the DNC.
Pres. Bill Clinton wasn’t afraid of image problems, so he gladly campaigned for Barrett, while Obama stayed home out of fear on independent reaction or that if he went and Barrett lost he’d look bad. Pres. Obama deserves to look bad for not showing up in some form beyond a tweet, because this race matters.
PPP sees an opening for an upset by Barrett:
This is a close race, closer than it was a couple weeks ago. Scott Walker’s still the favorite but Barrett’s prospects for an upset look better than they have in a long time.
Given the donor numbers from Ben Smith at Buzzfeed on Monday, it would have been a good strategic move if Obama had rallied the troops and made Wisconsin a battle line. Even if the outcome turns against Barrett and he doesn’t get the upset, imagine how Obama could have come out with a warning about what’s at stake for middle class workers if Walker’s union plan goes national.
But you’ve got to believe it to say it.
Using Walker’s win as foreshadowing of the national austerity to come with Mitt Romney, Obama could have put his own political skin in the game for a good cause. Pres. Bill Clinton did just that last night at a fundraiser for Pres. Obama.
Speaking at a fundraiser for Obama at the home of Marc Lasry, the billionaire founder of Avenue Capital Group, Clinton praised President Barack Obama, saying that “the alternative would be in my opinion calamitous for our country and the world”.
But Barack Obama rarely does causes larger than himself.
Forget chess, I’m not sure Obama’s 2012 team can even play checkers.
“If Democrats turn out in the numbers they did in 2008, Tom Barrett will win a surprise victory. If they don’t, Walker will survive,” Dean Debnam, president of PPP, said in a statement on the polling firms website. [Reuters]
Amanda Terkel reports Russ Feingold has said that the key to beating Walker is turnout bigger than 2010.
UPDATE: From Politico, via Salon.com
With both sides counting on dramatic turnout, Tom Barrett’s campaign is charging Scott Walker supporters with dirty tricks. In an email sent to supporters last night, Barrett for Wisconsin finance director Mary Urbina-McCarthy wrote, “Reports coming into our call center have confirmed that Walker’s allies just launched a massive wave of voter suppression calls to recall petition signers.” According to Urbina-McCarthy, the message of the calls was: “If you signed the recall petition, your job is done and you don’t need to vote on Tuesday.”
Taylor Marsh, a veteran political analyst and former Huffington Post contributor, is the author of The Hillary Effect, available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. Her new-media blog www.taylormarsh.com covers national politics, women and power.